Mary goes to Nazareth

Mary Magdalene does the long walk from Magdala to Nazareth, where she sorts out Tom’s wife and Jesus’ mother

Wednesday, July 12 #doubtingthomas

I don’t know how those boys manage to walk all that way to Nazareth in this heat. It was bad enough on a donkey.  I haven’t been there since we were first married, but it’s not the kind of place that changes much even over an entire lifetime, and I soon managed to find where I wanted to go.

Hannah was suspicious of me at first when I turned up yesterday afternoon, and might have thought Tom or Jesus had sent me, but she was happy enough to accept the provisions I had taken.  After darkness fell we opened a bottle of wine and sat around chatting like a pair of men at an inn.  She found it amusing to sit and relax and not have to run round preparing food for men and children as we women normally have to.  We made a meal of some of the food I’d brought and the evening went by in no time.  She told me that Mary, Jesus’ mother, was looking after the children while she got herself established as a laundress and grew used to the backbreaking work.

After a long argument I persuaded her to accept some money so that she wouldn’t have to work all hours of the day and night and could afford to have her children back and spend some time with them.  I told her that most of my spare income and a lot of my food reserves were going towards supporting Jesus’ mission, and that as Tom had lost his job mainly as a result of the things he was doing for the mission, this was just an extension of my support.  Then she cried and said I was her best friend.  It may partly have been the wine talking, but it was touching.

This morning I got up before dawn and helped Hannah do some of her stack of washing, then helped her organise her workload so she only kept a handful of respectable clients.

Then I went round to Mary’s and told her Hannah would be coming round for the kids later on.  They were playing outside, having come back from morning lessons, and were pleased they could go home.  They have grown so much since I last saw them I wouldn’t have recognised them, and they didn’t know me at all.

Mary and I had a good chat too.  She seemed reassured that I didn’t completely share Jesus’ conviction that the end of everything was imminent, but I did say that I thought there was a reasonable chance that he could be right and that, as his wife, I would give him what support I could.  If he was right, I would expect him to take me with him into the new world, and if he wasn’t I wouldn’t blame him for it.  Mary’s biggest concern was that he could be arrested as a revolutionary, but I said his mission was so obviously peaceful I couldn’t see him getting into any trouble.

She didn’t become his biggest supporter during the course of our conversation, and she still thought he had gone mad, but I think I managed to dispel some of the antagonism that had built up between him and his family.  And she said she would like to see me again soon, which made me happy.

Jesus and Tom hadn’t done anything to help out while I had been away, and I insisted they tidied up and Jesus washed my feet before I organised an evening meal.  I wouldn’t mind a new world order in which everyone did their fair share around the house, but that really would be a miracle.